Call to Action: Help Stop Electronic Cigarette Bans
Imagine that after 20 years of smoking, 5 of which were spent trying to quit using patches, nicotine gum, inhalers and pills, you finally found a solution. Through a combination of will power and an electronic cigarette, you haven't lit up a real smoke in almost 2 months. Your health has drastically improved and your significant other no longer despises the smell of your clothes. However, despite being tobacco free, the government suddenly decides to label you as a smoker yet again. The sense of freedom acquired from avoiding tobacco is gone, as you are restricted to only using your healthy alternative in designated smoking areas. Your clothes again smell like an ash tray at the end of the day and the craving to light up slowly returns. This is a hypothetical situation that could become a reality in California if a new bill is enacted.
The government, FDA, and Pharmaceutical companies have been at the center of the electronic cigarette debate for years. Whether it's increasing taxes, regulating sales, or, in the above case, restricting usage, “the man” just doesn't seem to know a good thing when he sees it. Recent studies have found e-cigarette vapor to contain only a fraction of the toxins found in tobacco smoke and be completely safe for bystanders. Why then, are states like California, Connecticut and Hawaii continually trying to ban e-cig usage? It could be because they are TOO safe to impose high taxes on or because they threaten the existence of lesser effective medically approved nicotine replacement therapies. Either way, we need your help to prevent these bills from enactment.
California E-Cigarette Usage Ban — SB 648
This is a proposed bill that would amend California law to extend the existing smoking ban to vapor products. It would declare use of electronic cigarettes as a hazard to the general public, permit landlords to ban e-cigarette use in private homes and prohibit vaping with 20 feet of a public building, among other things. SB 648 is currently pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Health. To help, please visit the CASAA blog for more information.
Connecticut E-Cigarette Usage Ban — SB 990
This is a similar proposed in the state of Connecticut that would ban use of electronic cigarettes in any public place that smoking is prohibited. Because Connecticut law bans “smoking” in any tobacco shop that has changed its size or opened since the end of 2002, e-cigarette usage would also be banned in vapor shops stores across Connecticut. How would one be able to “taste test”? Here is a detailed list of what to do and who to contact to prevent SB 990 from passing.
Hawaii e-cigarette use ban – HB1321
Again, this would ban use of electronic cigarettes anywhere smoking is prohibited in the state of Hawaii. As of last week the bill was defeated in committee. However, it will undoubtedly be resurrected in 2014 and citizens are still encouraged to contact their legislators and express opposition to any bill that would ban the use of e-cigarettes.
We hope to keep e-cigarettes as a viable and much safer alternative to smoking tobacco for years to come. Their accessibility has positively affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of former smokers and their loved ones. To further help prevent the FDA from regulating or banning the sale and use of electronic cigarettes, we ask that you read over and sign this petition on The White House website. Here's to another day of freedom!